North Island Liberals go for youth

Campbell River resident Nick Facey, a 25-year-old PhD student, has been acclaimed the provincial Liberal candidate for North Island. He will face NDP incumbent Claire Trevena in an uphill battle in May 2013.

Facey knows the hill he must climb is steep. “I don’t think we campaigned properly last time. I won’t limit my campaign to Campbell River by any means. We have not campaigned on the north island properly nor have we campaigned on Quadra and Cortes effectively. We lost Port Alice terribly (in 2009). We can’t do that again. I have to get out there and be part of the conversation.”

Facey has taken a leave from his doctoral studies in business at Simon Fraser University to challenge Trevena. His acclamation came Tuesday evening at his party’s nomination meeting at the Maritime Heritage Centre. Education Minister Don McCrea (Comox Valley) was there to cheer him on.

Today, Facey is setting up his campaign office in Georgia Quay, #102-901 Island Highway.

“I want to ensure that young people come to the North Island to seek a living, and parents move here because it’s an ideal place to raise their kids,” Facey said. “The key to that is ensuring that there are jobs in our region, and Premier Christy Clark has made jobs her number one focus. That’s why I’m standing with the premier to help keep British Columbia’s economy moving forward.”

The last Liberal to hold North Island was Rod Visser who lost the seat in 2005 even though he outspent Trevena two to one. Trevena held the riding in 2009 polling about 3,000 votes more than her Liberal challenger Marion Wright.

Even though the overlapping federal riding of Vancouver Island North is held by the Conservatives, the party has no provincial profile here. BC Conservative leader John Cummins was attempting to change that earlier this week with a two-day North Island tour that included Campbell River and Gold River. On his arm was Campbell River’s Bob Bray, to date the only candidate for the party’s North Island nomination.

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